On March 16 2023, online auction house PWCC sold a PSA 10 Graded Alpha Black Lotus from the Magic: The Gathering trading card game for $540,000 as the leadoff lot in their March Premier auction. The sale is a new all-time record for the public sale of a Magic: The Gathering card.

Signed on the case (rather than on the card) by the late artist Christopher Rush in 2014, this card was one of two signed Black Lotuses that belonged to longtime collector David Edwards, who owns DM’s Alpha Set on the PSA Registry. The set was the highest-graded, complete set of the cards from Magic’s first release, now colloquially known as Alpha.

Two signed Black Lotus cards

The two cards when first signed by Christopher Rush in Chicago.

The card, which began at an opening bid of only $1,000, rose quickly during the just over two-week auction before finally being hammered and sold for $540,000, inclusive of a 20% Buyer’s Premium, late Thursday night. This recent sale edged out the previous record of $511,100 set in January of 2021 of Edwards’ previous signed Black Lotus.

The graded, signed Black Lotus in a PSA grading case.

Image: PWCC

Hipsters of the Coast was able to catch back up with Edwards during the auction, and dig a little deeper into this most recent offering and dually record-breaking sale.

Donny Caltrider: Good morning David, and thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. If I’m correct, this is the sibling of the Black Lotus card that was sold in 2021?

David Edwards: DM’s Alpha was a project I began in 2007 buying another graded set to improve.  It started as a 9.43 / 10.0 grade set I purchased and scoured the collector’s world for improvements.  I managed to find 2 PSA 10 Alpha Black Lotus and then Christopher Rush visited Chicago for a GP around 2014 and I was able to get them both autographed.  I parted with one 2 years ago and now I’m letting go of my entire graded set.

DC: Why the decision to let this one go now as well?

DE: The heart of my collecting took place from 2005-2014.  At the time I tried to find every card missing for my set or power and duals that I knew I could eventually trade for cards I still needed 10’s of.  It was a very fun ride, but eventually I ran out of cards I could improve.  I’ve had almost 2 decades of enjoying this collection, it’s someone else’s turn to get to enjoy these.  Many of these 1 of 1 iconic cards haven’t changed ownership in over 15 years, and after this sale they might not be on the market for another 15!

DC: Incredible stuff. So what’s next for DM’s Alpha Set?

DE: I can only hope that an excited collector will be watching closely to get their hands on the 1 of 1 iconic Alphas PWCC will be auctioning off for me.  The raw supply to grade has pretty much dried up for Alphas, so this is not quite a once in a lifetime set of auctions—but depending on who buys them, it might be the last time some of these are available for sale.

Hipsters was also able to reach PWCC for comment following this historic sale:

“This record sale reinforces the Alpha Black Lotus as an investment-quality asset, fortifies its claim as a true work of art, and shows exactly how important Magic: The Gathering is to the culture of gaming and trading card games,” said Jesse Craig, Vice President of Sales at PWCC Marketplace. “It’s extremely unlikely we see one of these signed copies available for purchase again in the near future. They are crown jewels for a collection. They will remain under lock and key and treated as the museum-caliber pieces they are.”

Will another legendary Black Lotus come to market and follow this record-breaking sale? Or will the newly-revealed 1 of 1 Black Speech variant of The One Ring take the crown? Stay tuned to Hipsters of the Coast to follow the story.

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